Developing emotional regulation: Understand the ‘WHY’ behind  your child’s aggression

Developing emotional regulation: Understand the ‘WHY’ behind  your child’s aggression

Welcome to Podar Prep Preschool’s insightful exploration where we delve into a topic that many of us might have encountered – the world of young children and their expressions of aggression. We’re here to help you understand the ‘WHY’ behind your child’s aggression and how developing emotional regulation plays a crucial role.

Common Behavior in Children:

Very young children, under the age of six, often resort to hitting when they struggle to convey their feelings. It’s a common behaviour, and understanding the root cause can make a difference in how we respond.

Let me tell you an instance when I witnessed aggression: A mother and her child were engaged in joyful nursery rhyme play. Their interaction was heart-warming, but suddenly, the mother’s phone took centre stage. She picked up the call, leaving her child bewildered and seeking her attention. The child’s attempts to connect went unnoticed, and frustration built up. The child resorted to the ‘chin hold,’ an attempt to make the mother look at them – a pivotal point.

Here’s where emotional regulation comes into play. Imagine if the mother had simply communicated, “We’re going to pause the rhymes for a moment while I take this call, and then I’ll be right with you.” Acknowledging the child’s feelings and setting expectations would have made a world of difference.

Unfortunately, the situation escalated. The child’s frustration boiled over, leading to an impulsive action – a slap. What happened next was even more disheartening. The mother, caught off guard, reacted with smacks of her own. A beautiful bond temporarily shattered.

Understanding the ‘WHY’:

Children, especially at a young age, are still developing emotional regulation skills. When we abruptly shift our attention, leaving them disconnected, they struggle to cope. It’s not about the act of hitting; it’s about an unmet need for connection, attention, and understanding.

Remember the ‘chin hold’ – a plea for attention and validation. When children reach out in this way, it’s crucial to respond. Ignoring them or abruptly shifting focus can intensify their feelings of frustration and isolation.


We emphasise emotional development alongside academic growth. Understanding the ‘WHY’ behind behaviour is our key to fostering emotional intelligence and healthy coping mechanisms. So, when you notice these moments of frustration in your child, pause and connect. Let them know you’re there, and their feelings matter.

Join us at Podar Prep Preschool as we embrace these teachable moments and empower our children to communicate, connect, and thrive. After all, it’s not just about addressing aggression; it’s about nurturing emotional growth that lasts a lifetime.

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